Integrity EP

by ELMS

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1.
03:48
2.
04:36
3.
04:47
4.
03:58
5.
04:07
6.
03:46

about

Written, engineered, and mixed by Alex Unger, 2015 - 2017.

Mastered by Harris Newman, April 2017.

Sculpture by Christy Haldane.

credits

released July 8, 2017

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license

all rights reserved

about

ELMS Peterborough, Ontario

ELMS is the solo project of Alex Unger (ex-Dead Elm Society of Canada, ex-Burnt Norton), based out of Peterborough, Ontario.

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Track Name: Salt Earth
found me in my youth
took me in its arms
whispered I was worth less
than this salt earth
that will never grow anything good

then I built my life on this ground
forgot its name and its voice in the sound
made a cage from the stones of my house
it took me decades before I finally found
each bent nail knots in the timber
barred windows that let in the chill every winter
each floorboard creak cried ghost speak
echos of that forgotten whisper
Track Name: Sold
had my heart stolen
by a burning kingdom of the sun
gave my sight to these
snow-capped peaks
that so easily won
my feet from this common path
I'd walked for my whole life
from since I was told
'tomorrow you're old
borrow for a home
lie for a wife'

but fleeting
like a cold bird's wings beating
just once
so you're not sure if you've even seen it
or if you're dreaming
every night
waiting for the startling power of flight

born under shadows
of half-mast standards
it's part disadvantage
and part well-prepared
for the caught in between
the daily routine
of burnt with cold iron
or the 'what might have been'
the arc of that bell
tolling in hell
between what we were sold
and what we will sell

but it's fleeting
like a cold bird's wings beating
just once
so you're not sure if you've even seen it
or if you're dreaming
every night
waiting for the startling power of flight
Track Name: The Curse
pulled into the warmth
sick flutter in my chest
its tears upon my cheek
breath hot against my neck
and you, you still have time
the horror has not come
leave your home to burn
forget each thing you've done

now i can't tell which is worse
the blessing or the curse
to be judged by gold and lead
to be weighed against their worth
these hands that won't be still
these teeth that bite their tongue
how they long for these dark woods
to live chained or die unchanged

hunts me like it hates me
then flatters me and baits me
tells me I'm the strength it needs
while it drives me to my knees
and if I just stood still
refused this wretched run
watched other prey pass by
convinced of what they'd won

they don't know what it's worth
the blessing of this curse
to die by gold or lead
or instead be judged at birth
these hands that won't be still
these teeth that bite their tongue
born in these dark woods
to live chained or die unchanged
Track Name: Mountains
I wish you could understand time
like I understand time
not as a slag heap of failures
but as a mountain to climb

I'd give it all back
give it all back
give it all back
if only I could
just take it all back
take it all back
take it all back
if only you would

I wish you could understand fire
like I understand fire
not as a lone tree ablaze
but as a forest in flames
and smoke will mark the place it burned
the leaves will curl the bark will turn
to ash and the earth will be well fed
and new growth will follow your thread

I'd give it all back
give it all back
give it all back
if only I could
just take it all back
take it all back
take it all back
if only you would

I give your heart back
I give your time back
I give your hope back
I give your years back
I give it all back
Track Name: The Weight
no language no signs
your history's been a lie
no exit no end
the same rigid hell round each new bend

and I can feel the weight
through two walls
of the millions to the south
and I can feel the weight
pushing on your ribs
it covers your mouth it binds your wrists

no lightning no rain
but the thunder still rolls across this dead plain
no moon no sun
there was no one but you in the dark

and you were always there
through two walls
with the millions to the south
you can feel the weight
pushing down on you
it ruins your taste it devours your youth
Track Name: Strangers
I wish I could see your face
alone in your hotel room
where you meet your mistress
and a call boy or two
I wish I could see your face
moments before
the kick in your door
what are you thinking of

I wish I could see your face
as you watch your children play
on the dock of the summer home
where you spend your holidays
I wish I could see your face
as you watch the wind
twist and tear at the hem of your wife's best summer dress
what are you thinking of